Hello- I don't think I've ever left a SPEW-worthy review for poetry so I am intrigued by this thread and want to attempt it. But I've just been through the Poetry category on MNFF and randomly clicked on several poems and found the same problems. Without naming names, either the poem is technically very good but I just don't like it, it is good but I feel the Potter references are somewhat jarring and unnecessary or it's just not very good and whilst I can think of lots of things to say about it, I don't want to sound rude or impose my ideas of poetry on the author since poetry is, I think, so much more personal than writing as often you don't have whatever you're writing about refracted through characters. I know Poetry often takes the emotions of a specific canon character but out of the ones I've read I don't find them moving and therefore don't see the point in reviewing. Also anything I can think of writing just sounds really nitpicky, with nothing necessarily very positive to balance it out.

The big exception to all of the above is the recent Copycat Challenge in Poetry Anyone, the majority of the poems I loved but only the ones in which I loved the original poem. So although I hopefully will have time to leave a review or two for those, I would like to read something which is not based off a poem I love anyway and therefore it already has a leg up in the chances of me liking it (unless they mess it up, but out of the four or so I've read, none of them have).

Maybe it's just because in the story I'm currently writing my OC quotes a lot of poetry, so I'm kind of spoiling myself with poets like Marina Tsvetaeva, Anna Akhmatova, (wow, my spell check knows those names? But still doesn't know how to spell Morrissey? Weird), Sylvia Plath, Percy Shelley, Lorca, Neruda etc. of whom she definitely quotes the first four and will probably quote the others at some point. In other words I'm reading quite a lot of poetry at the moment but not on MNFF. So some TQs including a very picky request for recommendations.

Do you judge MNFF poetry by the same standards you would, if you write it, judge your own poetry or the poetry of others? Or do you 'lower' your standards? Like I said above there are some excellent poets on MNFF (who are definitely better than some published poets- I'm not going to name names for fear of upsetting anyone though) but when somethings excellent apart from "I love it/ what it made you feel" there's not much more to say in a review, particularly one which you want to be SPEW-worthy.

And a very picky request for a recommendation. I love the poets mentioned above. Also Simon Armitage, Sharon Olds, Carol Ann Duffy, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Elaine Feinstein.

Whilst there are many exceptions, most poetry I like is quite bare and minimalist but still has beautiful imagery and flows well. I hate rhyming couplets but there are several exceptions to this- mostly (but not always) when they are used to deliberately make a character/ the poem sound trite and cynical (like, I would argue (obscure reference coming up, sorry) some of Ariel's poetry in The Tempest).

So anything that might be stylistically in some way similar to them but also original in their own right. Also out of the two poems I've written and showed to my nana she complained that they were too sad. Writing poems about happiness is difficult and the only poet I can think of who I enjoy reading 'happy' poems by, is Hopkins and he also wrote poems about how depressed he was in Dublin, ha.

That is of course incredibly picky. I am quite picky about poetry which might be why I'm finding this difficult but any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Alex


EDIT: Since I managed it, even though I've done the other activity as well, thought I might as well post my review here.

Review for My Black Brother by hestiajones